Happy that my county performances have been recognized: Pujara

Cheteshwar Pujara. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)MUMBAI: Hours after he was recalled into India’s Test team for the rescheduled fifth Test against England from July 1-5 in Birmingham, Cheteshwar Pujara, who was dropped for the home Test series against Sri Lanka earlier this year due to poor form, thanked the selectors for recognizing his sizzling recent run in county cricket, which has seen him slam four centuries, including two double hundreds on the trot.

“I am glad to have been selected for the England Test, and happy that my recent county performances were recognized. Having spent some time in the middle during the county games, I do believe it will keep me in good stead as we get ready for the game against England. As always, I’m looking forward to preparing and training well ahead of the tour, and do hope to continue contributing to the Indian team,” Pujara told TOI from England on Sunday night.

Pujara has so far piled up 720 runs in just five games (eight innings) for Sussex – including four tons- at a Bradmanesque average of 120, in the County Championship. Only Durham’s Sean Dickson and Derbyshire’s Shan Masood have scored more runs than him in County Championship Division Two.

He scored an unbeaten 201 against Derbyshire, 109 against Worcestershire, 203 against Durham and 170 not out against Middlesex in an attack which had Pakistan’s left-arm pace ace Shaheen Afridi. Before that in the league stage of the Ranji Trophy, the 34-year-old scored two fifties in three games (five innings) for Saurashtra. Having played 95 Tests, Pujara is just five games short of reaching the landmark of 100 Tests.